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  • S. Maria in Pantano
  • S. Maria in Pantano
  • Vicus (ad) Martis Tudertium
  • Italy
  • Umbria
  • Provincia di Perugia
  • Massa Martana

Credits

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Monuments

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Periods

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Chronology

  • 100 BC - 500 AD

Season

    • About 13 km from Todi, at the current location of the church of S. Maria in Pantano ("St. Mary in the Bog"), so called because of once-frequent flooding of a local torrent, an old stopping point (statio) on the Roman road seems to have grown to a place of significance, to judge from the several inscriptions from the area, and the presence of the ancient name - _Vicus (ad) Martis Tudertium_ - for the site on itineraries, including the famous Peutinger Tablet. Nevertheless the site appears to have been abandoned by the time the church was built, around the 9th c. Indeed the church itself, which incorporates a late imperial Roman building, was the sole visible structure from this once important site. Our first season of excavation in Summer 2008 uncovered an area ca. 10x10 m, and revealed the presence of at least two phases of construction at the site. Large walls and some floor remains appear to be datable to the late first century BC, while sometime in the late second century AD, after flooding—and perhaps more—destroyed the earlier levels, new walls were built, some on top of the older ones. Small finds such as coins, stamped pottery, and amphoras have helped with the dating, but a number of questions still surround the site and its relationship to nearby Todi. These questions remain despite the use of geo-magnetic survey in 2008 on a much larger area than was actually excavated. Survey at the _Vicus _site revealed the presence of fairly large structures spread out over a large area around the church of S. Maria. A small excavation over one of the anomalies observed in the survey discovered a substantial wall. This correspondence enables us to have significant confidence in the survey analysis for the rest of the area, and helps guide excavation in future campaigns.
    • Following upon the work of 2008, further excavation was conducted in the two areas that had been explored already. In particular, we were able to further define the western limit of the via-glareata road that runs north-south through the site, a road we now believe to be the ancient Via Flaminia. We continue to find evidence for at least two construction phases for the large structure discovered last year, with the earlier showing evidence of deliberate in-fill. The later phase also is partly constructed from re-used architectural elements, likely drawn from other areas of the site which have not yet been excavated. Among the more intriguing finds in the first-period in-fill was a fragmentary architectural terracotta of the kind found at other republican-era sites in Umbria. The western sondage was expanded in an effort to clarify the western limit of the large structure discovered in 2008. Several more recent agricultural features emerged at levels just above the ancient walls, included several likely drainage canals. In addition a burial “a cappuccina” likely of a late-antique date was discovered at the western limit of our excavation. While the type of burial is unremarkable, the contents are not: two complete legs, intact but unconnected to one another, and several hand bones. Geomagnetic survey was also performed this season as last, this time in a field some 150m to the north of our current excavations. This survey strongly suggested the presence of numerous ancient structures below the surface, and lead us to believe that the ancient Vicus was at least two hectares in area.
    • Heavy winter rains raised the local water table and prevented further exploration of the lower elevations of the site. Instead the two trenches from previous seasons were joined and work was concentrated on obtaining a better picture of the large structure discovered in previous seasons. It faces on the road we have now identified as the ancient Via Flaminia, and its long EW walls of this building extend for over 20m W from the road. Numerous fragmentary remains of items like marble wall revetment and terracotta tubuli suggest the presence of more elaborate and luxurious structures than we have so far excavated. Finds this season remain consistent with our previous dating of the site, though we are mindful of the relatively small portion of the site that has been excavated. Several later burials have now been discovered inside the large building and at least this portion of the site seems to have served as a late-antique cemetery. We suspect a connection with the nearby catacombs of San Faustino, but firm ties have not been established. We continue to use the remote sensing techniques of geomagnetic survey and, this year, aerial photography to explore the extent of the ancient settlement. Based on these findings we have increased our estimate of the site’s original extent and now believe that it occupied at least seven hectares, most of which lie under fields currently under agricultural use.
    • In an effort to confirm the findings of previous geomagnetic survey and determine the state of preservation of unexcavated areas of the site, in 2011 several test trenches were opened over one-hundred meters to the north of the church of S. Maria in Pantano and the area of earlier excavation. Given the gradual rise in ground level to the north, we hoped to have less trouble with the water table, which was still at more or less the same high level as last year. These trenches confirmed the overall findings of the survey with the discovery of several building walls and small finds consistent with those from previous years. Both the structures and the finds were in more or less the same state of preservation as those earlier finds, even if the water table did lie a bit further below ground level, as hoped. Several of the finds from the deepest strata push the earliest confirmed dates for the site to the very beginning of the first century BC, if not the end of the second century. Although the total area excavated was smaller than in previous years, no burials were discovered, suggesting that the area of the putative late-antique cemetery did not extend this far north.
    • Following both results of geomagnetic survey as well as crop marks in the alfalfa growing in the fields, excavation was focused on uncovering and exploring the eastern end of an apsidal structure lying to the south of the area investigated in previous seasons. A second area was opened up south of this, again following the evidence of both survey and crop marks. The latter area revealed a rectangular structure which had been significantly despoiled in antiquity, providing clear evidence of the systematic way in which the ancient settlement had been dismantled (at least in parts). This area also revealed a much later wall, constructed without mortar, and likely used as a boundary or animal-pen wall. This later construction lay in places immediately on top of ancient remains, though its preserved height is still below modern ground level. The area of the apsidal building did in fact preserve the apse of what is anticipated to be a fairly large building. The apse itself has a maximum diameter of ~8.5m and the rectangular portion of the building to which is forms the eastern end is ~12m in width. The apse appears to be constructed on a pre-existing pavement in an evident re-working of the structure. The remainder of the building walls rest on an earlier wall which lies at a slightly different orientation.
    • Excavation of the apsidal building first revealed in 2012 continued. In particular the entire southern wall of the structure was investigated along with the portion of the ancient road running N-S through the site (putatively identified as the Via Flaminia). Several features related to water control were uncovered, including an ancient well head, much repaired in antiquity and a drain leading out of the building west towards the road. A high water table frustrated efforts to reach the earliest phases of the building. Several burials of the style “a cappuccina” in the area to the east of the apse were also uncovered.
    • Excavation of the entire extent of the apsidal building first revealed in 2012 was completed. Extending over 20m in length, the building fronted and was open to the ancient road (Via Flaminia) running through the site to its west. Although a high water table prevented excavation to the hoped-for depth, excavation did reveal several phases of construction and repair to the walls of the structure. The function of the building in antiquity remains unclear, but it is notable for its size and the attention paid to it as evidenced by the repair work.
    • Work this year took place several hundred meters to the north of the church of S. Maria in Pantano, in the area known locally as “Il Mausoleo”, due to the presence of the _opus_ _caementicium_ core of a Roman funeral monument. This monument had been severely damaged sometime in the late 20th century, but excavation work for gravel had uncovered another funeral monument (“a dado” style) in the 1980s, which had been excavated as a rescue project by the superintendency, but never properly published. Work this year therefore had two goals: first, to properly document these two monuments, and second to explore via excavation the surrounding area. Although the immediate vicinity had been heavily disturbed by mechanical excavation in previous decades, ancient strata were found to have been fairly well preserved, though in many places covered by thick layers of naturally deposited gravel. Few material remains were recovered, though we were able to confirm the continuation of the N-S-running road that bisects the settlement area and which we believe to be the course of the ancient Flaminian Way. The possible foundation of a third funeral monument was also uncovered, though the superstructure was entirely despoiled in antiquity.

FOLD&R

    • John D. Muccigrosso. 2010. The 2008 and 2009 Excavation Seasons at the Site of the Vicus ad Martis Tudertium (PG) . FOLD&R Italy: 185.
    • John D. Muccigrosso. 2011. The 2010 Excavation Season at the Site of the Vicus ad Martis Tudertium (PG) . FOLD&R Italy: 227.
    • John D. Muccigrosso, Rangar Cline, Sarah Harvey, Elena Lorenzetti, Stefano Spiganti. 2015. The 2011 Excavation Season at the Site of the Vicus Martis Tudertium (PG). FOLD&R Italy: 327.
    • Jill A. Rhodes , Stefano Spiganti, Elena Lorenzetti, Sarah Harvey, John D. Muccigrosso. 2016. The Apsidal Building of the Vicus Martis Tudertium (PG). FOLD&R Italy: 366.

Bibliography

  • No records have been specified